Southampton scientists are part of a multi-million pound study into teenage behaviour

Hampshire Chronicle: Southampton scientists are part of a new study which could explain more about teenage behaviour such as Little Britain character Vicky Pollard, pictured Southampton scientists are part of a new study which could explain more about teenage behaviour such as Little Britain character Vicky Pollard, pictured

THE SYMPTOMS are common.

Unpredictable mood swings, the inability to communicate in words, perfecting the art of grunting.

The teenage years are not the most enjoyable.

But now Southampton scientists are leading the way in understanding why the behaviour is so extreme in some cases.

The University of Southampton will be part of a multi-million pound study to explore the causes of a condition called Conduct Disorder.

Antisocial Conduct Disorder (CD) has been identified as a psychological condition that affects children and adolescents of both genders and is associated with aggressive and antisocial behaviour.

The University is one of 13 research institutions across Europe that will share over £4.8 million of European Union funding to conduct a large-scale study of girls with CD starting in late childhood up to 18.

The four-year project will look into the causes of the condition, which has been on the rise both in Europe and the United States.

Typical problems associated with CD include teenage pregnancy, difficulties integrating into working life, drug abuse, delinquency and chronic health problems. It is also related to school dropout and truancy rates.

They are, in fact, similar symptoms to those portrayed by the wayward teenage character Vicky Pollard played by Matt Lucas in the hit TV comedy Little Britain.

It is hoped the study will shed some light on what actually causes some of the more profound character traits and in future limit their severity.

“It costs society ten times as much to raise children with CD to adulthood as children without the condition, and they are at greater risk of developing mental and physical health problems in adulthood,” says Dr Graeme Fairchild, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of the Southampton.

“The FemNAT-CD study will involve studying the development of the brain and the body’s stress system in children and teenagers with Conduct Disorder.

“We will also study a range of risk factors for antisocial behaviour such as bullying, migration, post-natal depression in mothers and negative peer influences.”

The University of Southampton has received almost £400,000 of the total funds to carry out the study, which will begin this summer. The majority of research into CD has historically centred on boys, as it is more common in males.

Around three per cent of girls suffer from the condition, which is especially common in the teenage years.

The study will examine the relationship between genetic factors and environmental influences, amongst others such as the influence of stress hormones and the nervous system.

Dr Fairchild added: “This may also enable us to identify protective factors present in girls that might be harnessed to help children of both sexes from developing aggressive or antisocial behaviour.”

Comments (6)

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10:10am Thu 19 Jun 14

St.Winch70 says...

Oh, we're calling it 'Conduct disorder' now.....
I hope a substantial piece of this research is centred on the home and parental guidance! Conduct disorder...ffs!
Oh, we're calling it 'Conduct disorder' now..... I hope a substantial piece of this research is centred on the home and parental guidance! Conduct disorder...ffs! St.Winch70
  • Score: 4

11:00am Thu 19 Jun 14

cliffwalker says...

Everything is being medicalised, now. From ignoring traffic rules to mass murder, it's not our responsibility - we just can't help it.
Everything is being medicalised, now. From ignoring traffic rules to mass murder, it's not our responsibility - we just can't help it. cliffwalker
  • Score: 2

12:23pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Bagamn says...

The younger generation spend too much time in their bedrooms alone, instead of getting out in the air with friends and enjoying life. All these electronic gadjets and game toys are not getting them enough exercise and oxygen to sustain their bodies..Social skills are not honed on your own. It does not take a medical skill to tell us what any parent knows. It is called hormonal change, from being a kid to growing up. The teen years. We've all;
The younger generation spend too much time in their bedrooms alone, instead of getting out in the air with friends and enjoying life. All these electronic gadjets and game toys are not getting them enough exercise and oxygen to sustain their bodies..Social skills are not honed on your own. It does not take a medical skill to tell us what any parent knows. It is called hormonal change, from being a kid to growing up. The teen years. We've all; Bagamn
  • Score: 3

3:35pm Thu 19 Jun 14

shirlski says...

Please not more excuses for bad behaviour, all the useless parents can now adopt 'Conduct Disorder' as the new 'It's not my fault my kid's got.....' after all every child seems to have ADHD these day's it's a bit common and 'last season'.
Please not more excuses for bad behaviour, all the useless parents can now adopt 'Conduct Disorder' as the new 'It's not my fault my kid's got.....' after all every child seems to have ADHD these day's it's a bit common and 'last season'. shirlski
  • Score: -7

5:49pm Thu 19 Jun 14

forest hump says...

What a crock! What a waste of money! Why are we ( I say we because as it is EU funds I presume we have contributed via taxes) expected to fund this utter nonsense. Here's a plan.....

1/ Bring back corporal punishment in schools and give Teachers their spines back.

2/ Throw the book at irresponsible parents who cannot raise their kids
properly.

3/ Eliminate child benefit after 1st child to discourage the chav element from using it as a source of income.

4/ Stop giving free houses to teenage mothers. It just encourages breeding mindless louts ( a result of poor or non parenting )

No doubt the Universities will conclude with some lily-livered, airy-fairy report saying we should be more tolerant and understanding of these horrible issues todays children have to deal with! Nonsense...bring back the strap.
What a crock! What a waste of money! Why are we ( I say we because as it is EU funds I presume we have contributed via taxes) expected to fund this utter nonsense. Here's a plan..... 1/ Bring back corporal punishment in schools and give Teachers their spines back. 2/ Throw the book at irresponsible parents who cannot raise their kids properly. 3/ Eliminate child benefit after 1st child to discourage the chav element from using it as a source of income. 4/ Stop giving free houses to teenage mothers. It just encourages breeding mindless louts ( a result of poor or non parenting ) No doubt the Universities will conclude with some lily-livered, airy-fairy report saying we should be more tolerant and understanding of these horrible issues todays children have to deal with! Nonsense...bring back the strap. forest hump
  • Score: 2

8:02am Fri 20 Jun 14

skeptik says...

Because it is a new problem! Every older generation has always thought the young to be a bad lot.
Because it is a new problem! Every older generation has always thought the young to be a bad lot. skeptik
  • Score: 0

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